Moody vibes and light guitar – a wonderful meeting of two unique talents – the third stream jazz of the Modern Jazz Quartet, and the introspective guitar of Laurindo Almeida! The session blends together a host of different influences – from classical guitar to bossa nova to modern jazz – all with the light and spacious touches of the MJQ at their best, recorded with some really warm brilliance that makes the whole set sparkle! Titles include "Foi A Saudade", "One Note Samba", "Fugue In A Minor", "Silver", "Trieste", and "Concierto De Arajunez". LP, Vinyl record album
(Green & blue label pressing. Cover has some wear and some faded marker.)
A treasure! The set features rare live work from three key members of The BlueNotes, working here alongside tenorist Frank Wright in a late 70s performance from the Netherlands – issued here for the first time, and with really brilliant sound overall! The lineup features Dudu Pukwana on alto and piano, Johnny Dyani on bass and piano, Louis Moholo on drums, and the legendary Frank Wright on tenor and a bit of double bass – all working together freely with a tremendous sense of collaboration – Wright's tenor blown with beautifully soulful, raspy tones that seem to push Dudu even farther than on some of his other albums from the time. There's almost an Art Ensemble Of Chicago feel to the record, although the whole thing comes off with a bit more of a South African soul – as befits the origin of the players – on titles that include "Ancient Spirit" and "Contemporary Fire". CD
Late 60s live work by Thelonious Monk – featuring one side of quartet material, and one with an octet – hence the title! The first half of the album has Monk working with Charlie Rouse on tenor sax (although the cover wrongly bills Clark Terry on trumpet as a member of the group!) – all in the sharp-edged, angular modes the pair laid out on their best Columbia sessions of the 60s – but slightly stretched out here, given the extended performances of "Hackensack" and "Ruby My Dear". The second half features a larger group (although again, we're not entirely sure if we can trust the notes!) – with Ray Copeland on trumpet, blowing away beautifully on "Blue Monk" and "Hackensack" (played again.) Other players billed are Jimmy Cleveland on trombone and Phil Woods on alto. CD
One of the greatest albums ever for BlueNote – and the only album recorded by tenor player Tina Brooks that was issued during his lifetime! The album's nearly perfect – and features Brooks' edgey tenor set in an all star group that includes Duke Jordan on piano, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Sam Jones on bass, and Art Taylor on drums. Brooks had blown on other BlueNote sessions before, but here, working as a leader, his sound is tremendous – vaguely to the left of center of some of his other tenor counterparts on the label, but with an equally impeccable approach to soul and rhythm. Titles include "Miss Hazel", "Good Old Soul", "Up Tight's Creek", and "Theme For Doris". LP, Vinyl record album
Some of Kenny Burrell's best early work! The album catches Kenny in the perfect BlueNote jam session mode of the late 50s – one used also with Jimmy Smith, and which features a number of the label's star players hitting hard with the main soloist. Players on the two volume set include Duke Jordan or Bobby Timmons piano, Junior Cook and Tina Brooks tenor, Louis Smith trumpet, and Art Blakey on Drums. The cuts have a very open-ended blowing session feel, and Kenny comes through surprisingly well, really picking up steam on a way you don't always hear in more restrained recordings. Titles on this volume include "Yes Baby", "Scotch Blues", and "Phinupi". CD
Some of Kenny Burrell's best early work! The album catches Kenny in the perfect BlueNote jam session mode of the late 50s – which features a number of the label's star players hitting hard with the main soloist. Players on the two volume set include Duke Jordan or Bobby Timmons piano, Junior Cook and Tina Brooks tenor, Louis Smith trumpet, and Art Blakey on Drums. The cuts have a very open-ended blowing session feel, and Kenny comes through surprisingly well, really picking up steam on a way you don't always hear in more restrained recordings. Titles on this volume include "Rock Salt", "Chuckin", and "Caravan". CD
Could there be a more classic BlueNote session? From the cover, to the title, to the hardbopping grooves of the set, this Sonny Clark late 50s smoker is one of the label's best! Clark's working here at the height of his powers – leading an all-star group that includes Art Farmer on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Hank Mobley on tenor, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Louis Hayes on drums – all coming together magically on open-ended tunes that tighten up from the blowing session format, and really send the groove home! Plus, Sonny's writing is also great – as the set's got a number of great originals by Clark – like "Bootin' It", "Sonny's Mood", "Shoutin On A Riff", and "Dial S For Sonny". Features a bonus stereo take of "Bootin It". CD
Kenny Clarke & Francy Boland —
Golden Eight ... CD BlueNote (Japan), 1961. New Copy ...
On July 1, 2015
A fantastic session from the early days of the Clarke-Boland Big Band! The record was cut in 1961, under the aegis of Gigi Campi – and it features a core group that would later grow into the much-respected CBBB unit during the MPS years – working here as a smaller combo on a rare date for BlueNote. Players include Jimmy Woode on bass, Derek Humble on alto, Karl Drewo on tenor, and the fantastic Dusko Goykovich on trumpet – all very unusual musicians to be working on a BlueNote date, and some of the best European soloists at the time. Tracks are shorter than on later albums by the ensemble – but no less filled with fire and imagination – and the solos are all totally wonderful! Titles include "Strange Me", "Basse Cuite", "Dorian 043", "La Campimania", and "High Notes". CD
A real enigma from Miles Davis – rare material from the BlueNote vaults, issued here for the first time ever – and done as a totally sweet 10" album! The cover and package are great – and the music is even better – very much in the most sparkling spirit of Davis' early 10" albums for BlueNote – with a lineup that includes JJ Johnson on trombone, Jimmy Heath on tenor, Jackie McLean on alto sax, Gil Coggins on piano, Percy Heath or Oscar Pettiford on bass, and Art Blakey or Kenny Clarke on drums! Titles include "Enigma (alt take 1)", "Kelo (alt take 1)", "Chance It (alt take 3)", and "Chance It (alt take 4)". LP, Vinyl record album
Lou Donaldson —
Hot Dog ... CD BlueNote (Japan), 1969. New Copy ...
On July 1, 2015
From the title, to the cover, to the gritty grooves way down in the wax – this has got to be one of the funkiest BlueNote albums ever – a real landmark from the legendary Lou Donaldson! The set kicks off with a hard and heavy groove from the very first note – thanks to some super-tight drumming by a young Idris Muhammad – still billed under his birth name of Leo Morris on the sleeve, but already hitting the kit with that snapping post-Popcorn style that would revolutionize funky jazz in years to come! Donaldson's plenty smoking himself on electrified alto sax – played with that great mix of flatness and echo that you'd hear in Eddie Harris' albums of the same time – and the rest of the lineup is equally cooking, with Melvin Sparks on guitar, Charles Earland on organ, and Ed Williams blasting away on funky trumpet! Titles include killer remakes of "It's Your Thing" and "Who's Making Love" – plus Donaldson originals "Hot Dog" and "Turtle Walk" – all nice and long, and with a really raw sound! CD
Funky funky Lou Donaldson – and one of the first albums to feature the tight drum work of Idris Muhammad behind Lou's horn – so early, in fact, that Muhammad's listed here on the label as Leo Morris, which was his original name! The group also features Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Jimmy Ponder on guitar, and Lonnie Smith on organ – and they all wail together in a sound that bridges the gap between Lou's earlier BlueNote soul jazz, and the later funky mode of his jazz funk years! Tracks include "The Humpback", "Peepin", "The Kid", and the fantastic cover of "Ode to Billie Joe" that's as much a sample cut as "Pot Belly"! CD
One of the "bottomest" albums you'll ever hear – as trombonist Curtis Fuller meets baritone saxophonist Tate Houston – for a real session of "bone" and "bari" grooving that's one of the most striking BlueNotes of the time! The album features the pair working hard to push their instruments past conventional expectations – gliding with a fluid ease that you really wouldn't expect, yet still working out all the gutbuckety soul propensities that the instruments possess. Part of the strength of the session is the rhythm section – which features Sonny Clark on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Taylor on drums – but another strong aspect is the choice of material, which includes some nice originals like "Again", "Pickup", "Nita's Waltz", and "Algonquin". CD
Curtis Fuller —
Opener ... CD BlueNote (Japan), 1957. New Copy ...
On July 1, 2015
An obscure little groover from Curtis Fuller – and one of his hardest blowing sessions for BlueNote! Unlike some of the other Fuller sessions, which can have a slightly softer, rounder sound overall – this one's a much more in-the-pocket sort of BlueNote hardbop date – one that really cooks magically with contributions from Hank Mobley on tenor, Bobby Timmons on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Taylor on drums. Fuller's trombone is very hard-edged in this setting – in the same territory of his work with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but with some slightly lyrical overtones too. Titles include a great reading of Oscar Pettiford's "Oscarlypso", plus Fuller's own "Lizzy's Bounce" and "Hugore" – and the tunes "A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening" and "Here's To My Lady". CD
One of the great ones! Grant Green meets up with a youthful Larry Young, and the two of them are backed by Elvin Jones on drums, for a free-flowing, modally grooving set of organ/guitar cuts that are among some of the best-ever recorded for BlueNote. The album's a stunning mix of soul jazz and modernist sensibilites, and Green and Young are in top top form. It's also one of the toughest to find on BlueNote, and we hardly ever see it on wax! Cuts include "Talkin' About J.C.", "Luny Tune", and "You Don't Know What Love Is". CD
A classic "new thing" album recorded with the cream of BlueNote's avant 60s players – like Eric Dolphy, Joe Henderson, and Tony Williams – standing out with Hill as some of the most adventurous players for the label at the time! The album's awash with jagged piano likes from Hill – supported by a modernist 3 horn frontline of Henderson, Dolphy, and Kenny Dorham – skittishly working their way into territory that's never truly free, but wonderfully expressive and exploratory – a clear summation of the sense of "modern" in modern jazz! The set features 5 excellent Andrew Hill compositions, including "New Monastery", "Flight 19", and "Spectrum", "Dedication" and "Refuge". LP, Vinyl record album
Freddie Hubbard —
Goin' Up ... CD BlueNote (Japan), 1960. New Copy ...
On July 1, 2015
A real burner from Freddie Hubbard's early years at BlueNote – filled with rich hues, colors, and tones! The group's a quintet – supported by lyrical rhythms from the trio of McCoy Tyner on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums – working alongside Freddie's trumpet and the tenor of Hank Mobley – to craft tunes that sparkle with slight exotic touches, and which offer the perfect blend of modern and soulful that BlueNote was cutting in the early 60s! The whole album's great, and titles include the classic modal number "Asiatic Raes", plus "Karioka", "The Changing Scene", and "A Pec A Sec". CD
A tremendous set from Jackie McLean – perfectly poised between his hardbop and modern years, with a set of compositions that are as great as the performances! The lineup on this one's a bit unusual – with Walter Bishop on piano, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Taylor on drums – but that mix of players makes for a really unusual sound – as the rhythm section's often straight ahead, Blue Mitchell's notes are bold and sparkling, and Jackie's own solos are reaching for the darker corners of the spectrum! There's a great sense of tension here that heralds the genius of later McLean sides of the 60s – and original titles include "Francisco", "Condition Blue", "On The Lion", and "Capuchin Swing". LP, Vinyl record album
A real classic by Jackie McLean – a record that's pulled from 2 different sessions, but which stands out with a strikingly unified feel! The album was cut during the height of Jackie's bop years for BlueNote – with one 1959 session that featured Donald Byrd and Sonny Clark, and another from 1960 that featured Blue Mitchell, Kenny Drew, and the great Tina Brooks on tenor. Brooks' appearance on the album is especially great, as the tracks which feature him and McLean together crackle with some of the first modernist energy to show up on one of Jackie's albums – really hitting hard on original compositions that include "A Ballad For Doll", "Appointment in Ghana", and "Isle of Java". One of McLean's best-ever – and filled with great original tracks! CD
Jackie McLean —
New Soil ... CD BlueNote (Japan), 1959. New Copy ...
On July 1, 2015
If you ever needed a record to re-remind you of the genius of Jackie McLean, this BlueNote classic may well be it! At first glance, the session appears to be the usual sort of date – a quintet outing, with help from Donald Byrd on trumpet, Walter Davis on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Pete LaRoca on drums – yet as with all of McLean's best moments on records, the album explodes with freshly creative energy from the start – getting way past any easy expectation in the way it sets up the groove and delivers the sound! Jackie's tone is amazing – very modern at times, yet with all the soul of hardbop – and although the rhythms are relatively straight, there's always a slight setting-free at points – that pre-new thing groove that McLean further explored on records like Capuchin Swing or Fickle Sonance. The sound is amazing throughout – and titles are all originals by McLean and Davis – great gems that include "Davis Cup", "Sweet Cakes", "Hip Strut", "Minor Apprehension", and "Greasy". CD
A post-BlueNote effort, and Donald's changing things up a bit with his 125th Street Orchestra and Uptown Singers – funking along in a way you'd expect from the longwinded title! Byrd loostens up the smoother backgrounds of his recent Larry Mizell helmed work, and in their place are grooves that have more of a heavy slap bass sound, punchier horns and guitars! There are lotes nice moments that are a bit more restrained than the comparably full-on funk approach – and these have a spacey fusiony soul quality that reminds us of similar work that Byrd was doing with The Blackbyrds at the time. One of the best cuts is "Your Life Is My Ecstasy", which has some great bubbling Moog behind it, which creates a sound that you've heard sampled famously by Tribe Called Quest. Other nice ones are "Loving You", which features vocals by Jim Gilstrap, and a remake of Duke Pearson's "Cristo Redentor", a big hit for Don in the 60s, which is redone here in an excellent slow funk mode that feels like Bob James' work on CTI. Others include "Have You Heard The News", "In Love With Love" and "Close Your Eyes And Look Within". CD
2 classic Miles/Coltrane albums are compiled here on a nice double LP set with good extra notes on the sessions. Miles and Trane are backed by the classic Red Garland/Paul Chambers/Philly Joe Jones rhythm section, and the set appears to include a few more tracks than the original LPs (although we're not sure). Titles include "Diane", "The Theme", "Ahmad's Blues", "Four", and "Half Nelson". LP, Vinyl record album
A great little album from Herbie – with no dates, no notes, but clearly from the pre-BlueNote years! We're pretty certain that the album, like others on the TCB label, was recorded for Warwick Records in the early 60s, and issued here in a note-less cover in the 70s – and it probably comes out of the sessions that Herbie cut with the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams group for the label. In fact, some of these tunes may be from their albums – but the titles are different, and the mix on the tracks seems to be as well, with Herbie's piano up pretty darn far in the mix. Tracks are great, though – firey and soulful – with less composure than in later years, but handled with plenty of energy! Titles include "Cat Call", "Soul Power", "Rock Your Soul", "Jammin With Herbie", and "TCB With Herbie". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has tape on the seams, a sticker, and pen on back.)